Video Evidence: Iran Fighting in Syria

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Dr. Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


Picture 13While the Obama administration has been struggling to articulate a precise foreign policy agenda towards Syria, another country, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and a non-state actor, Hezbollah, have become emboldened and empowered in their clear support for the Assad regime militarily, financially, through intelligence, and in an advisory role to garner a victory for Islam against those they call “the Pagans.”

It goes without saying that Iran— with the help of Hezbollah— has been operating militarily in the region for in recent years, supporting the Assad regime financially and sending military advisers to the country to train Syrian officers, Mukhabarat (the Syrian intelligence agency), and army ever since the popular uprising first began.  For example, Iranian leaders have reportedly made the forceful military decision to send 4,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Damascus. This support is intended to threaten Tel Aviv, suppress the uprising and rebellion, as well as to strengthen Assad’s Alawite-based police state.

In addition, the Islamic Republic of Iran— with the help of Russia and China—signed an agreement with Assad to supply Damascus with $3.6 billion in oil in exchange for Tehran to have the right to invest in Syrian cities. Syria’s state news agency (SANA) reported on Tuesday that “[a]n agreement (on Monday) was signed in Tehran by the Iranian and Syrian central banks, granting Syria a credit line worth $3.6 billion.” The agreement stipulates that the Syrian government will have to pay back the cost of the Iranian oil loan ”through Iranian investments of various kinds in Syria,” as SANA stated. However, Syrian and Iranian authorities have not clarified what specific type of “investments” will be implemented.

This $3.6 billion in oil is part of a package to extend Iranian aid to President Bashar al-Assad’s government – Iran’s major regional political and strategic ally. In addition to the $3.6 billion aid in oil, another $1 billion credit line to Damascus has already been extended. Moreover, Iran has previously signed a free trade deal that granted Syrian exports as low as 4 percent in customs tariffs. These moves have been taken in an attempt to allow Syrian authorities to buy Iranian power-generating products and other goods in a framework of barter arrangements.

Although Iran has been implicitly and covertly delivering assistance to Assad and his apparatuses since the eruption of the Syrian uprising, there has been no concrete or tangible proof of these military, advisory and financial moves.  Iranian leaders have continued to deny all these claims, maintaining the stance that they are not engaged with any side in Syria.

Nevertheless, all this changed, when just this week a cameraman— who lost his life because he filmed the truth on the ground in Syria— released the following video showing how Syrian troops and militia are being trained by Persian-speaking advisers. The cameraman was able to capture footage of the Iranians with their fighting unit, showing the ideology of the Islamist clerics of Iran.

The Iranian officer publicly announces that he is fighting Western countries, Tel Aviv, the United States, and pagans. Through the interview, it is evident that he is implying that the uprising in Syria did not erupt as a protest against the dictator, but as a battle between Islam and the bad, a battle between good and evil. The evil here being the West: Israel and the United States.

The war in Syria, he explained, “is that of Islam versus the nonbelievers. Good versus evil.”

The officer believes that he represents good, while his opponents are the evil, because he believes that he is on the side of God due to the fact that he is on the side of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khameini. The Iranian officer believes that he is with the right and the good, the Islamist party fighting evil and atheism because that is what the Supreme Leader has instructed.

There are many people who become brainwashed, blindly and truly believing in whatever their Imam and Supreme Leader has said. These are the types of people who will kill, slaughter, commit suicide, torture men, women, and children, while still believing that they are doing the right thing.

These believers act because their Supreme Leader and Imams not only support them in this world, but also promise them support in the next world, including (most infamously) 72 virgins.

When I lived in Iran, I came to realize that there is a specific group of militia, extremely loyal to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamist value system. They believe that the twelfth Imam, called Mehdi, would one day resurrect and would come to kill all of the pagans on Earth with his sword while riding a horse, resulting in only a few (less than 1,000) loyal Islamists left alive from the billions alive today. The devout followers deeply believe that they will indeed be the few survivors because they support the Iranian leader Khamenei.

Those who believe in this to a fanatic extent become dangerous, as they would go to extreme lengths to please their Imam and Supreme Leader. Some would even argue that they would self-harm and self-sacrifice if the Imam ordered it, as a sign of loyalty and as supporters of what they see as true Islam.

While the Obama administration has yet to articulate a clear foreign policy goal for Syria, Iranian loyalists and Islamists, Hezbollah, and other groups are dominating the country, the region, and threatening the existence of Christians and Jewish minorities, Israelis, and other non-Muslim groups.

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  • Alvaro

    Assad belongs to a sect that believes in tolerance towards other religions, including Christianity. That is why so many Christians fled from Iraq to Syria after 2003. Christians have been free to practice their religion in Syria and have not been persecuted by the government.

    Obama supports Sunni jihadists who want to kill the Christians and burn their churches – and they do.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectarianism_and_minorities_in_the_Syrian_civil_war

    • Aizino Smith

      Al Assad’ sect believes that but many if not most people when they become dictators are out more for themselves and their roots recede.

  • Aizino Smith

    I would like to know what the Loonwatchers who in other articles denigrated Raymand Ibrahim think of this article and this writer.

    This is what I think of Loonwatchers. Ever heard of

    “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is their to hear it does t makes a sound?”

    I think Loonies believe that if events such as pogroms happen and no one is their to report, then it does not matter.

    So if they can ridicule us into not reporting these events or reading about them, then no constructive action will be taken. Instead we will follow their news makers and their narrative and be putty in their hands.

  • Aizino Smith

    This report is from a Dutch film crew. I’ll have to go back to monitoring the evening news of ABC, NBC & CBS. My significant other still watches them.

    My opinion is that their news reporting on these foreign wars is no where near as hard hitting and truthful as this dutch crew.

    Then I will casually mention to my significant other this film clip.

    Sux to ABC, NBC, or CBS

    Sorry but you grew fat, dumb, and lazy or just evil.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    All Muslims be they Sunni, be they Shiite, be they Alawite, or whatever are the eternal mortal enemies of all non-Muslim infidels, and that reality must under gird our foreign policy with respect to Syria. In fact, the jihad currently raging in Syria should be looked upon as a very fortuitous event for the West.

    • za

      Yes you are the enemy if you are kafir. The war in syria is bad for you because whoever emerges as the victor will only continue to fight. Your best hope is to convert. This doesn’t mean you won’t have to fight, but if you die fighting jihad you will pass to heaven. Islam is the one True religion but as long as there are non muslims in the world their will be always war and suffering.

  • Nancy

    Israel is the problem in worsening Syria’s war.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Please, by all means, explain your stupidity.

    • DockyWocky

      Yeah. I’m sure them Izzies have undercover troops in Syrian training them hick Syrians. But they have to be careful not to train Syrians that are also being trained by the Iranians. It could be embarrassing as those Iranians don’t have any sense of humor. Plus they are worsening Syria’s war…

  • ahmad76

    Bashar is fighting with terrorists..

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Excuse me but terrorism is strictly a Western manifestation, as Muslims, in stark contrast to terrorism, fight jihad in the cause of Allah for the establishment/expansion of Islam instead.

      With respect to the jihad in Syria, both sides of the jihad consider the other side to be non-Muslim infidels. In any event, the jihad is a very fortuitous event as Muslims killing Muslims is very beneficial for the West. Hence, the West should bud out and reap the benefits, while at the same time also looking for other cracks and fissures within Islam to exploit to the West’s advantage.

      • ahmad76

        Do you believe in any human values, Obamayomoma?

        • Abdel

          You are burning up the road Ahmad(17)76!

          This is you 3rd comment ever under this name.

          Is taqiyya one of your human values?

        • ObamaYoMoma

          Do you believe in any human values, Obamayomoma?

          Actually, I believe in Christian-Judeo values as oppose to Islamic values, which holds that non-Muslim infidels and females are less than human. You have a problem with that? I mean although there are millions of Muslims living in the West today and just like clockwork all of them are refusing to assimilate and integrate and forming Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia instead, I nevertheless don’t see them being persecuted and murdered or their mosques being burned down. However, when I take a look at the Islamic world, on the other hand, not only do I see Muslim women being harshly oppressed but also Christians and other non-Muslim infidels being persecuted, murdered, and their holy places being burned down to the ground everywhere I look. Why is that? Do you care to explain to us why this manifestation is happening and why there is no reciprocal treatment of non-Muslim infidels throughout the Islamic world?

          • ahmad76

            Muslims are like this because you have exploited them by your colonialism, wars, imperialism, supporting dictators…. Read some history, Obamayomama.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            Muslims are like this because you have exploited them by your colonialism, wars, imperialism, supporting dictators…. Read some history, Obamayomama.

            Get out of here you self-hating moonbat. Muslims wage jihad, which is holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the establishment/expansion of Islam, because the sole fundamental purpose of Islam is the subjugation into Islamic totalitarianism of all religions and all infidels through both violent and non-violent jihad and the eventual imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law. Hence, go buy a clue you unhinged America hater!

            Moreover, you didn’t explain the very ubiquitous widespread persecution of Christians, females, and all other non-Muslim infidels by Muslims that is extremely rampant throughout the Islamic world. Meanwhile, Muslim immigrants to the West despite the fact that just like clockwork they all never ever assimilate and integrate and form Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia instead, are never ever persecuted or even harassed. What’s the deal…man? Are we supposed to ignore this lack of reciprocity?

          • Alvaro

            Muslims behaved like that long before colonialism and imperialism, and not just towards Christians, but against everyone unfortunate to border Muslim countries. It was was also *Muslims* who attacked *Europe* from the 8th century: When did colonialism and imperialism start?

            Get your chronology straight, Ignoramus.

          • defcon 4

            A Pakistani muslime who took part in the massacres of Sikhs there and then moved to the UK and converted to Hinduism named Anwar Sheikh wrote Islam: The Arab Imperialism, for which he received death threats from muslimes in the UK.

          • ahmad76

            They were living next to each other (all religions) there until you guys started colonizing and favoring some over others and cutting the region into countries to get oil. turning religions against each other.

          • Freedom Call

            That was actually mohammad and his gang of rapist murderers destroying everything related to the people they have just exterminated.

          • defcon 4

            LOL, yeah tell that to the Buddhists that used to live in Afghanistan. Or the Hindus and Buddhists still living in Bangladesh. Or the Christians and Hindus still living in Pakistain. Or the Jews who used to live in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco or Egypt. Or the Christians of Nigeria. Or the Jews, Bahai, Christians and Zoroastrians living in Iran. Or really, any of the najjis kaffir unfortunate enough to live under muslime rule anywhere on this earth today.

          • Fritz

            History which you yourself have obviously have not read, or read the kindergarten Marxist interpretation of that history in that all evil in the world is caused by white, western, Imperialists. If you read your history you would have known that Syria, and most of the middle East outside of Egypt and Iran, was ruled by the Ottoman Empire up until 1917. They were freed from Turkish rule with the help of the British and the French, a’ la Lawrence of Arabia, then spun off into self governing nation states over the next 30 years. The Ottaman Turks were “people of colour” and Muslim too, how does that jive with your version of history?

  • Crass Sunsteed

    Frontpage magazine use to have a resident progressive from Massachusetts who was a very (?) small player in the record business. From his point of view he was fighting the good fight.

    Now progressives are crawling out of the woodwork. they obviously see FPM as a threat.

    ahmad76 & Nancy are new poster. They a have all of 3 posts between them. they might be part of a Syrian propaganda campaign or some of our dear western progressives.

    Or worse, they could be some of Cass Sunstein’s Nudgers.

    but these people are not real in that they do not debate in good faith.

    • ahmad76

      You are wrong dear. You have to open your eyes to reality. Stop living in ignorance of Fox news and so forth.

      • Crass Sunsteed

        I have not been to Fox news in over a year. I never did like their the presentation of their website. when they changed their forum I stopped using them. My opinions are going to be pretty much the same no matter what news sites I frequent.

        So quit trying to make such pathetic arguments. If you don’t we might have to make a cartoon strip featuring your arguments.

  • Johnnnyboy

    Well, lets say it is true. Is there any reason why it should upset us? Iran’s nuke program is a particular problem, but otherwise they are trumped by the Sheikdoms collectively. And so if Iran retains influence with Syria it does not make them dominant in the region. So… who cares?

  • Fritz

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the middle East’s answer to Himler’s Waffen SS, whom many of which were also fanatical followers of a cult, mind you one fabricated by Himler and loosely based on the Nordic pagan gods.

    So what we have in Syria, aside from innocent civilians getting killed, is an ideal matchup, Muslim Brotherhood and El Queida backed Suni Islamo Facists trying to wipe out Iranian and Hezbo backed Shiite Islamo Facists, and vice versa. The odd men out is the Syrian regime, which is Ba’thist and therefore secular, and the Christians, Allowites, and other minorities who would be massacred should the El Queida/Muslim Brotherhood take over. The consolation is that this civil war is attracting Islamo Fascist loons from all over the world and draining manpower, money, and resources from their other campaigns.

  • za

    Whoever says killing people or raping and beheading women and children is wrong seriously needs to think about what they’re saying. People are so brainwashed to be anti killing people its only the government and the people in power’s way of criminalizing behavior that they themselves are guilty of. Killing people is fun and if people go to heaven when they die then its actually good if they die. You must be an idiot to think war in syria is a bad thing since they are all muslims fighting jihad and will pass instantly to heaven if they die. Let us pray this war will spread across the whole world.